Tag Archives: acta

New Fronts in the Copyfight: new research series in the OA journal DSCN

I’m pleased to announce the launch of New Fronts in the Copyfight: Multidisciplinary Directions in Critical Copyright Studies, a peer-reviewed series of research articles on intellectual property and the digital milieu, which I am guest-editing for Canada’s open-access, digital humanities journal, Digital Studies/Le Champ Numérique (DSCN).

The series opens with an introduction, “Copyright concerns all academics,” that argues for greater knowledge of copyright and intellectual property among Canadian academics.

The first two articles in the series are now available:

1) “Pornographers and Pirates: Intellectual Property and Netporn” by SSHRC-winning Brock MA student Sarah Mann.

“As netporn businesses struggle for control over porn distribution and consumption, they facilitate their own survival by generating new sexual, social and economic norms. These norms mediate between the “pirate” culture promised by technology and the culture industry’s interest in legitimising and entrenching intellectual property rights.”

2) “The Rise, Fall, and Rise of ACTA?” by Athabasca U political scientist Jay Smith.

“This paper argues that the spirit of ACTA may live on in a host of other trade agreements currently being negotiated. That is, ACTA, or even more restrictive versions of it, could be imposed through the back door at least upon weaker states through bilateral agreements with the United States and the European Union.”

Further articles are in the works, and will be announced as they become available. The series hopes to take advantage of DSCN’s open access digital format in order to promote greater critical awareness of copyright and IP issues among academics, students, and the public.

Open letter: objection to Bill C-56, and to Canada considering ACTA ratification

To: The Hon. Christian Paradis, Minister of Industry minister.industry@ic.gc.ca
Subject: objection to Bill C-56, and to Canada considering ACTA ratification

Honourable Minister Paradis,

I am writing, as a copyright policy researcher, to object to the government’s introduction of Bill C-56, which would position Canada to ratify ACTA: a trade agreement that has been roundly rejected by jurisdictions around the world (like the EU), partly for harbouring disastrous copyright policies like those of the failed American SOPA and PIPA bills. By enabling Canada to ratify ACTA, Bill C-56 would thus lead to the partial undoing of the government’s own recently passed copyright legislation in Bill C-11 – which has made important gains for Canadians, towards better balanced copyright.

Bill C-56 is politically toxic, a shameless cave-in to US lobbying, and a flagrant waste of taxpayers’ money.

For further reading on Bill C-56 and the apparently unkillable ACTA:

Arellano, Nestor. “Will Bill C-56 resurrect ACTA?” IT World Canada 7 Mar. 2013.
Bradbury, Danny. “Canadian Bill C-56 raises spectre of ISP ‘copyright police’.” MS Geektown 6 Mar. 2013.
Geist, Michael. “NDP calls it: Bill C-56 is ‘ACTA through the back door’.” 6 Mar. 2013.
—. “What’s really behind Ottawa’s anti-counterfeiting bill.” Toronto Star 15 Mar. 2013.
Knopf, Howard. “Bill C-56: Just when you thought it was safe to go back into the water?” Excess Copyright 4 Mar. 2013.

Call for papers on Literature & the Copyfight, for Congress 2012

Call for papers: Literature & the Copyfight, Congress 2012.

Critical scholarship is urgently needed to intervene on the question of copyright: once a staple stimulus for literary and cultural production that now tends more to stifle it. … This session invites papers on the relationship between literature, copyright, and the copyfight.

The deadline for submissions is 15 Nov. 2011 (see link for contact info). Thanks to ACCUTE and SDH for joint hosting.

[Instead of posting the complete call for papers here, I’m practicing not duplicating content.]

Teachers, it’s time to flex fair dealing.

Yesterday, a happy coincidence: first, a highschool friend, now an educator, asked me out-of-the-blue on Facebook (it’s the kind of thing I love about FB) a question about copyright infringement cases involving educators; second, I received CAUT‘s new Guidelines for the Use of Copyrighted Material, a must-read primer on fair dealing for educators. I’ve reproduced my friend’s question and my response, extending the latter with more about fair dealing and CAUT’s guide — because more educators need to know how liberally we can and should be exercising our robust fair dealing rights.

Q: I need an example of a Canadian Copyright Infringement Case related to academics or education and am having trouble finding anything interesting on the net…. I thought you may have a ready example given your recent involvement on the subject. Any thoughts or suggestions on where I can find what I’m looking for?

A: Probably the most important case for copyright and education in Canada was Law Society of Upper Canada v. CCH Canadian in 2004. Michael Geist outlines and links to it in a recent blog post about fair dealing.

Canada’s Heritage ministry has some analysis of it (but keep in mind that this is one of the ministries responsible for tabling Bill C-32). The ministry analysis considers the opportunities and implications of the CCH decision, one important result of which is simply its formal recognition in law that “fair dealing, as construed by the court, now allows for a more flexible framework.” And while the ministry’s analysis suggests problems raised by the decision, it doesn’t suggest they’d be solved by the “digital locks” provision that made C-32 so hotly contested. Citing scholars’ and students’ dissatisfaction with licensing, the analysis attributes some of this to a failure of CanCopy (now Access Copyright) to recompense authors: “CanCopy ‘had more than $18 million in undistributed royalties, and no apparently systematic way of determining to whom this money belongs’.”)

Howard Knopf (whose blog, like Geist’s, is also very good on copyright) also summarizes the importance of CCH v. LSUC in this recent post:

…the CCH decision in the Supreme Court of Canada made it very clear that:
• “User rights are not just loopholes. Both owner rights and user rights should therefore be given the fair and balanced reading that befits remedial legislation.” and.
• “ The fair dealing exception under s. 29 is open to those who can show that their dealings with a copyrighted work were for the purpose of research or private study. ‘Research’ must be given a large and liberal interpretation in order to ensure that users’ rights are not unduly constrained.”

There are also some relevant fair dealing cases and appeals underway right now:

Province of Alberta v. Access Copyright. Knopf is blogging about it, as in this post from early May; according to Knopf, the case “involves the very important issue of whether material prescribed by a teacher or provided in multiple copies can be fair dealing.”

This blog post by Knopf makes reference to the SOCAN v. Bell case, which investigated “whether providing previews consisting of excerpts of works is fair dealing for the purpose of research that does not infringe copyright.” In May 2010, the Federal Court of Appeals decided that that the free 30-second previews provided by music download vendors like iTunes are to be treated as fair dealing for consumer research purposes. Geist is reporting new appeals to and interventions in that decision.

Notably, of these cases, only Alberta v. Access Copyright directly involves educational institutions. But all three cases have significant bearing on the educational exercise of fair dealing. Enter the CAUT Guidelines, and the following. As stated in the message to which CAUT attached its Guidelines:

There has been a good deal of controversy and conflicting advice regarding when copyrighted material may be copied without permission or payment to the copyright owner. CAUT is concerned that both users and owners of copyrighted material are treated fairly. To that end, CAUT has prepared the attached document [which] explains the legal foundation of copying rights and provides direction on its lawful exercise.

The “controversy and conflict” to which CAUT alludes has resulted from debates about Bill C-32 and about ACTA and CETA, from Access Copyright’s “astroturfing” against fair dealing in C-32, and also maybe from increasing actions over mere linking. Now dead but expected back from the grave soon, Bill C-32 promised good, clear fair dealing provisions for educators, albeit provisions trumped by protections for “digital locks” like DRM. Often compared to the USA’s DMCA, Bill C-32’s fair dealing for educators actually fell short of the flexible and generous provisions given US educators. Check out this syllabus for Martha Woodmansee’s course on copyright — look at all the freely available course readings. (If that’s what US fair use now affords, then Canadian fair dealing should, too.)

Access Copyright (AC) lobbied hard against C-32’s educational fair dealing provisions, all the while while negotiating a massively inflated licensing tariff for educators. The royalty-collecting society’s campaign, in effect, pitted the creators of published works against the educators who use them, caused much confusion over the perceived pros and cons of new copyright legislation, and also provoked lots of institutions to decline to renew their licensing agreements with AC. AC is vigorously opposing the fair dealing provisions in any new Canadian copyright legislation — after all, revised and expanded fair dealing provisions could well put a collecting agency like AC out of business.

Meanwhile, the mere act of hyperlinking is increasingly subject to regulation. In Crookes v. Newton (2009), the BC Court of Appeal ruled that a website owner is not liable for linking to defamatory sites, that decision is now being appealed. In March of this year, the US Dept of Homeland Security arrested an Internet user for linking. And AC’s proposed new tariffs for PSE call for the documentation of and collection of fees for any and all Internet linking done by teachers (this proposal has not been approved and could be debates for months if not years).

Taken together, all these different developments, together with privately imposed teaching policies and publishing guidelines (e.g. a limit of 150 words on quoted excerpts in refereed articles, which I’ve heard of anecdotally but can’t find documented), are chilling the climate for fair dealing, and enclosing that much more of the already shrinking commons of public knowledge. Which is to say, they’re chilling the climate for teaching. As Michael Geist told delegates at last year’s ABC Copyright Conference, fair dealing is a “use it or lose it provision”: if Canadian educators don’t start exercising our fair dealing rights more extensively and aggressively, we stand to lose them altogether under the pressure of Big Media’s hugely influential lobbying efforts.

Fortunately, court decisions like LSUC v. CCH can and should embolden us to flex our fair dealing rights, rather than shrink from doing so under threat of litigation. The legal precedents currently support a “large and liberal” interpretation of fair dealing, and, as public educators, we have, I think, an ethical responsibility — not to mention a huge convenience — to act on that interpretation, towards principled and productive pedagogy. Against the creeping chill over academic freedom and effective teaching, give CAUT’s Guidelines a read — take ten minutes to learn the basics of educational fair dealing — and start staking your claim to a patch of the knowledge commons. A modest and reasonable patch, tended properly and shared appropriately, can yield large and liberal teaching outcomes.

Works Consulted

CAUT. Guidelines for the Use of Copyrighted Material. Ottawa: CAUT/ACPPU, May 2011 http://www.caut.ca/uploads/Copyright_guidelines.pdf

Edmonds, Kelly. “Off with their heads! Copyright infringement in the Canadian online higher educational environment.” Canadian Journal of Learning and Technology 32.2 (2006) http://www.cjlt.ca/index.php/cjlt/article/view/52/49

Dhawan, Sona. “Potential Liability for Hyperlinking: Crookes v. Newton.” The Court [blog] 31 Mar. 2010 http://www.thecourt.ca/2010/03/31/potential-liability-for-hyperlinking-crookes-v-newton/

Federal Court of Appeal. Decisions of the Federal Court of Appeal [database]. http://decisions.fca-caf.gc.ca/en/index.html

Geist, Michael. “The Canadian Copyfight Story: The Next Chapter.” ABC Copyright Conference. Athabasca U, 21 June 2010.

—. Michael Geist’s Blog. http://www.michaelgeist.ca/

Knopf, Howard. Excess Copyright [blog]. http://excesscopyright.blogspot.com/

McCutcheon, Mark A. Academicalism [blog]. https://academicalism.wordpress.com/

Ministry of Canadian Heritage. “Fair Dealing in Canada.” Ottawa: Government of Canada, 22 May 2009. http://www.canadianheritage.gc.ca/pc-ch/org/sectr/ac-ca/pda-cpb/publctn/cch-2007/102-eng.cfm

Supreme Court of Canada. Judgments of the Supreme Court of Canada [database]. Lexum/Supreme Court of Canada. http://scc.lexum.org/en/

Woodmansee, Martha. Intellectual property and the Construction of Authorship [course syllabus]. Case Western Reserve U, n.d. http://www.case.edu/affil/sce/authorship/syllabus.html

Before the Law: Histories of Copyright

You must imagine, at the eventual heart of things to come, linked or integrated systems or networks of computers capable of storing faithful simulacra of the entire treasure of the accumulated knowledge and artistic production of past ages…
–Benjamin Kaplan, 1967

Research for a talk I’ll be giving at #Congress11 includes reading some excellent studies of copyright in (or as) the history of literature. These studies share a couple of principles: they recognize the historical contingency of intellectual property law (it’s nothing natural), and they assert the fundamentally social character of all cultural production, in contrast to IP law’s attribution of it to individual “originality” (an attribution based on Romantic ideas of authorship). Mark Rose puts the matter succinctly in Authors and Owners: The Invention of Copyright:

The persistence of the discourse of original genius implicit in the notion of creativity […] obscures the fact that cultural production is always a matter of appropriation and transformation […] What finally underwrites the [modern copyright] system, then, is our conviction about ourselves as individuals. […] Copyright stands squarely on the boundary between private and public. (135, 139-40)

Paul Saint-Amour builds on Rose and other scholars in emerging cultural-economic fields — New Economic Criticism and Critical Cultural Legal Studies — to study copyright in Victorian and modern literature; however, his context is insistently that of the post-millennial copyfight, and he notes the contradictions of critiquing copyright on its own terms, through strategies of appropriation and infringement (like DJing, which I’ll be discussing elsewhere at Congress):

You can seldom criticize the law by breaking it and yet expect the law to forgive your infraction as criticism. Law is not an argument so much as an instrument of self-enforcement; thus, even breaking the law confirms the logic and categories of the law, which work to criminalize any transgressive act of dissent. In the case of property law, this circularity tightens further: criticizing standards of ownership can lapse into a near-absurdity when some of the most effective critical pathways — counterappropriation or parody, for example — are by definition already owned by someone else. (19-20)

(I was reminded of this comment when I found Martha Woodmansee’s syllabus for a course on “Intellectual Property and the Construction of Authorship,” with dozens of great readings made freely available for public download. If this is what fair use affords US educators, I’ll have what they’re having.)

The ability of the law to successfully prosecute infractions depends, in part, on how well the law makes itself seem natural, self-evident. Demystifying the self-evident naturalness of copyright law is a project of all these books, most ambitiously essayed in William St Clair’s The Reading Nation in the Romantic Period, a sweeping cultural-economic history that puts intellectual property law front and centre as a regulator of not just the publishing business, but also literary production and, most importantly, public access to reading.

Intellectual property has existed for so long that it is difficult to imagine a world without it, but it is not intrinsic to authorship, books, or reading as such, but it too came into existence in response to a conjuncture of economic circumstances which came together in the late fifteenth century. […] The intellectual property regime has changed frequently and drastically over the centuries. […] During the intervals when the normal intellectual property structures temporarily broke down, we can see that the whole economy of writing and reading immediately changed. (41)

So are we taking part, now, in a breakdown of IP structures, or in their further entrenchment? It can be bewildering and discouraging that the answers vary so wildly. Last week, copyright lawyer Howard Knopf blogged about Margaret Atwood’s comments on Bill C-32, which heighten “creator-vs.-educator” hostilities, and suggest misconceptions about IP law basics like fair dealing (which are especially troubling to see being expressed by such a major author). Histories of copyright bring some much-needed perspective to present debates so pressured by private-interest spin, by reminding us that copyright was invented to advance the public interest, and by suggesting ways to re-assert the priority of that interest and reclaim the cultural common wealth.

Works Cited
Kaplan, Benjamin. An Unhurried View of Copyright. New York: Columbia UP, 1967.
Rose, Mark. Authors and Owners: The Invention of Copyright. Cambridge: Harvard UP, 1993.
Saint-Amour, Paul K. The Copywrights: Intellectual Property and the Literary Imagination. Ithaca: Cornell UP, 2003.
St Clair, William. The Reading Nation in the Romantic Period. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2004.

Canadians have until Jan. 31 to comment on copyright bill

As Michael Geist says in his blog post today, we Canadians have until the end of this month to send comments on the new copyright bill, Bill C32, to the legislative committee now responsible for it. I’m not sure it’s exactly the “Canadian DMCA” that Cory Doctorow describes it as (especially since the DMCA itself is now more flexible on fair use and digital locks than our expected bill), but a copyright bill has no business protecting digital locks. IMHO.
For the record, here’s the letter I’ve just sent. (To send your own, consider these sources and strategies.)

Dear Bill C32 legislative committee,

There are solid gains for fair dealing in Bill C-32, but the bill protects digital locks more strictly than current US copyright law or even ACTA, now — and this protection trumps the bill’s otherwise substantial gains in fair dealing for Canadian consumers, educators, and businesses. Furthermore, digital locks — TPMs, DRM, etc. — are not intellectual property and should not be covered by IP legislation.

Bill C32 should provide protection for circumventing digital locks when undertaken for lawful purposes. As has been widely noted, this provision would still let Canada meet its obligations to international copyright agreements like WIPO and ACTA.

Thank you for fielding my comments on Bill C32.

Bill C32 must allow for lawful digital lock-picking

@TonyClement_MP @MPJamesMoore @CharlieAngusMP @MPMarcGarneau C32 protects digital locks more than US law, ACTA; but digital locks are not IP
[Retweet this]

@TonyClement_MP @MPJamesMoore @CharlieAngusMP @MPMarcGarneau C32 must provide for circumventing digital locks when for lawful purposes
[Retweet this]

Bill C32, the Act to amend the Copyright Act, has passed second reading and is now in committee. There are solid gains for fair dealing in Bill C-32, but they’re meaningless if the bill remains inflexible on protecting digital locks: the technological protection measures increasingly placed on media content and devices. (See this CBC article for a good explanation of digital locks and what their protection in this bill could mean.)

The committee debating Bill C32 needs to keep hearing from Canadians about the major problem with the bill–and about its simple solution:

The problem:

Bill C32 protects digital locks more strictly than current US copyright law or even ACTA, and this protection trumps the bill’s otherwise substantial gains in fair dealing for Canadian consumers and educators. Furthermore, digital locks — TPMs, DRM, etc — are not intellectual property and should not be covered by IP legislation.

The solution:

Bill C32 should provide protection for circumventing digital locks when undertaken for lawful purposes. (As IP law professor Michael Geist says — in item seven of this article — this provision would still let Canada meet its obligations to international copyright agreements like WIPO and ACTA.)

Tweet or e-mail the committee members, as well as the ministers behind the bill, to let them know how to fix Bill C32, in order to protect flexible fair dealing for Canadians. Protecting fair dealing, not digital locks, is what will keep Canadian industry competitive, Canadian research innovative, and Canadian culture creative.

Charlie Angus (NDP) @CharlieAngusMP | Angus.C@parl.gc.ca
Kelly Block (C) @KellyBlockMP | Block.K@parl.gc.ca
Sylvie Boucher (C) Boucher.S@parl.gc.ca
Peter Braid (C) @peterbraid | Braid.P@parl.gc.ca
Serge Cardin (BQ) Cardin.S@parl.gc.ca
Dean Del Mastro (C) @mpdeandelmastro | DelMastro.D@parl.gc.ca
Marc Garneau (L) @MPMarcGarneau | Garneau.M@parl.gc.ca
Mike Lake (C) @MikeLakeMP | Lake.M@parl.gc.ca
Carole Lavallee (BQ) @Carolelavallee | Lavallee.C@parl.gc.ca
Dan McTeague (L) @danmcteague | McTeague.D@parl.gc.ca
Pablo Rodriguez (L) Rodriguez.P@parl.gc.ca

Committee chair: TBA

Fix Bill C32: take 15 min. to read up, 5 to write

@TonyClement_MP @mpjamesmoore To preserve C32’s fair dealing gains, protect circumventing DRM when for lawful uses #fixC32

Speakoutoncopyright.ca now includes a concise, Unofficial User’s Guide to the Copyright Modernization Act, a.k.a. Bill C32. It also includes a handy guide for Taking Action.

That guide encourages you not to e-mail a form letter, but to mail your own comments to the cabinet ministers and MPs concerned (the guide helpfully summarizes each party’s approach, too).

What’s interesting in this latest bill is its glimmer of support for fair dealing. There’s a “Youtube” clause to permit noncommercial media remixing as fair dealing; there’s a $5K cap on damages for individual infringement (which is actually a win, given how the RIAA and MPAA have gone after individuals like Jammie Thomas in the US). Maybe Canadians are actually being heard on this issue: isn’t it pretty to think so?1 As Michael Geist told the Congress of Learned Societies in Montreal on Monday, this is a bill to fix, not one to kill. New protections for noncommercial copying and other forms of fair dealing are a good start. But the bill’s strong protection for “digital locks” like DRM would trump fair dealing when it comes to almost any DRM-protected content or hardware (they’ve made an exception for phones). For example, you couldn’t make your newly authorized Youtube video legally if it meant working around a DVD’s DRM to rip a clip. Digital lock provisions would always trump fair dealing provisions.

Yet the best overall fix may turn out to be dead simple.

Protect digital-lock circumvention when it’s done for lawful purposes. According to Geist, what Bill C32 needs most is just a single provision confirming that circumvention of a digital lock is not prohibited when undertaken for lawful purposes (that is, for private, non-commercial uses). This provision, Geist says, “would allow Canada to implement the World Intellectual Property Organization’s Internet treaties, provide legal protection for digital locks, and preserve the copyright balance.”2

Here are three other points I think worth bringing to the C32 debate. (Any other tweet- or postcard-size points you might make to #fixC32 would be welcome comment on this post.)

Make the fair dealing provisions broader and more flexible. Under Bill C32, they are still restrictive for educators, and they still fall short of US fair use norms (and that’s after over a decade with the DMCA). Given the polarized digital trends in higher education—towards open access on one hand, and device-tethered e-books, on the other—Bill C32’s “blanket provision against all circumvention … will lock down a vast amount of digital material, effectively preventing its use for research, education and innovation and curtailing the user rights of Canadians,” as the Canadian Association of University Teachers states in its response to the bill.

Extend the private copying levy to digital devices. If you want to get radical, support Charlie Angus’ proposal (from his now-dead private member’s bill) for extending the private copying levy already placed on blank storage media to digital devices (like iPods and laptops), which would address the concerns of creator organizations like ACTRA that C32 is insufficiently attentive to creators’ compensation.

Get Canada out of ACTA. No, not ACTRA: “ACTA,” or the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, is a global agreement being secretively negotiated by several countries, but led by the US Trade Department and US Big Media lobbies. ACTA isn’t really about trade or counterfeiting, it’s about copyright, and it would effectively impose a punitive DMCA model of copyright enforcement on all participating nations. At least not all nations are participating. But Canada is. And by agreeing to ACTA, Canada would forfeit many of the important gains and compromises already in Bill C32. And even if Bill C32 is amended to permit digital lock-picking when lawful, if that were to be prohibited by ACTA (and all reports show it would be) then any such amendment would be moot. So Canada needs either to insist on provisions for lawful DRM circumvention under ACTA, or walk away from it.

So take a coffee break to read up on what’s at stake, then find another five minutes to send a short letter to the government, lauding what’s likeable in Bill C32, and suggesting how you’d fix it. Keep it short, clear, and hand-written.3

And while you’re at it, maybe tack on a P.S. that Canada should not only get out of ACTA, but also CETA as well

Notes
1. Note to Hemingway’s estate: call off your lawyers. I’m claiming satirical fair dealing.
2. One close reading of C32 argues that “lawful DRM-breaking” may already be protected: “Section 41.1(3) of the revised Act provides that statutory damages are not available to an owner who sues an individual for ‘breaking’ a digital lock when that breaking was done only for private purposes.” But reducing damages for private digital lock-breaking is not the same as prohibiting damages for it, and the numerous research- and teaching-related reasons that would justify circumvention by educational institutions remain criminalized. According to Geist, interpreting C32 like this cultivates a disrespect for copyright (and, I’d add, the law in general), whereas “making a sensible law” (i.e. one with clear personal and pedagogical provisions for lawful DRM circumvention) would build respect for copyright in law and in principle. (It’s worth reiterating that the principle of copyright has never been in question on this blog, only the increasingly exploitative character of its regulation. Thanks to Prof. Geist for making time to correspond on this question.)
3. Anyone remember handwriting? Now there was a DRM-free medium!

Bill C32: the Copyright Modernization Act

RT @mpjamesmoore: “Here we go”

Michael Geist has good and bad news on Canada’s new copyright legislation, Bill C-32: it’s “flawed but fixable.”

Canada could comply with WIPO Internet treaties, provide legal protection for digital locks, and still preserve the copyright balance. Doing so would simply require a provision confirming that circumvention of a digital lock is not prohibited when undertaken for lawful purposes. Similar language can be found in other countries’ digital lock legislation and – as the top issue raised during last summer’s copyright consultation – should have made it into this bill.

As I write this, Moore is re-tweeting positive feedback from entertainment lobbies (the Canadian Film and Television Production Association, the Entertainment Software Association, the Canadian Anti-Counterfeiting Network), but not feedback from, say, the Canadian Association of University Teachers; today’s CBC story (“Copyright bill would ban breaking digital locks”) quotes CAUT spokesperson David Robinson as follows:

the legislation presented today will make it even more difficult for university and college teachers and students to have access to and use copyrighted materials for teaching and learning. By imposing a blanket provision against all circumvention, the government will lock down a vast amount of digital material, effectively preventing its use for research, education and innovation and curtailing the user rights of Canadians.

Some of the other bad news is for Torrent-specific search sites: C32 will treat them as knowing “inducers” of copyright infringement. Canada’s Isohunt is already in a lawsuit case levelled by the RIAA, trying to defend itself as a public, net-neutral search engine. “Just like Google.”

So here’s what @mpjamesmoore and @TonyClement_MP and the Harper government need to hear: Tell the feds to #fixC32 with a provision that breaking digital locks isn’t to be prohibited when it’s done for lawful uses.

Meanwhile, ACTA would trump C32 like digital locks trump fair dealing…
So while you’re at it, customize and send this EFF online letter to tell the feds and your local MPs that ACTA is a sham, and it would make useless many of the gains in Bill C-32. (The letter does need some customizing for Canadian users; I’ll post again on that shortly.)

If there’s any good news on the ACTA front, it might be that India’s looking to build a countervailing coalition of states to oppose ACTA, described by copyright blogger Ray Dowd as an international agreement

so one-sided as to appear to have been spoonfed by certain aggressive Hollywood rights-holders who don’t think anyone can make fun of Mickey Mouse and that anyone crossing a border should be frisked for a fake Louis Vuitton handbag.